Filling the gaps excerpts continued…
We decided that Skype was the next step. For any of you that remain unsullied by or ignorant of technological advances, Skype allows people to communicate via computer by message (like instant messaging); by voice, if you have a microphone and/or by video if you have a camera.
With Skype we began instant messages, but still longed to see each other and talk ‘in person.’ Since at the time neither of us had built in cameras, I ran off to Staples to investigate the possibility of owning, or if I could even afford to purchase such high end equipment. My assumption being that a webcam must be something that would far exceed my budget.
“I’d like to price a camera for my computer so I can talk on Skype,” I plunged in, addressing the sales clerk, certain my naiveté was showing.
Come on Laura, it’s just a camera! I tried to calm myself, but I couldn’t seem to rein in the prancing, pawing gallop of my heart at the prospect of seeing Brendan for the first time. The sales associate didn’t seem to notice and led me to the webcam section, handed me a plastic package and said matter-of-factly, “This is the one I recommend for Skype. It runs $39.95.”
Did I hear him correctly? Not a hundred something, but a mere forty bucks? For the cost of dinner and a movie, I could carry on a video call with someone across the world? Amazing.
“Great. I’ll take it,” I heard myself say over the din of my galloping heart.
No teenaged school girl felt as exuberantly giddy as this forty-seven year old grandmother did at that moment. I’m even hesitant to say that I may have skipped part way to the check-out line. All I envisioned was getting to see my Aussie man in video person within hopefully the next 48 hours, and the grin could not be forced off my face.
Brendan “winked” (like a Facebook Poke) at me a few days later. Ok, six to be precise. And yes, I did count. I was sitting in my favorite chair in my bedroom/office, and Carol was working at our desk. I saw the “wink,” a computer generated standard email that indicates someone’s interest without them writing anything personal, come up and I caught my breath. Up until that time, I had ignored most winks feeling that if someone was actually interested in me they could go beyond that easily pressed button and send a more personal, if even brief note. But when I saw that the wink was from the Australian man, my heart flipped and tears came to my eyes. Oh my gosh, Lord, could this be the one? I thought. Really?! And it may seem corny and overly sentimentally romantic, but I knew somewhere deep in my being, albeit not concretely, that he was. Chills spread over my body. My amazement, excitement and tears prevented me from responding immediately.
“Oh my gosh, Carol. I don’t know what to write. What do I write? I can’t believe this. Really? Oh my gosh. What do I say? I can’t believe I’m crying,” I pestered Carol, feeling dazed and speechless.
“Just be yourself, Laura,” the ever practical Carol replied with a calm, knowing smile.
“Right.” Easy for you to say when I have just received a WINK from this amazing Australian man. A WINK for goodness sake! A wink suddenly taking on an entirely different meaning for me.
I deliberated for quite a while; actually until I became nervous that unless I responded soon, he would think me disinterested. (This was of course before I had counted the difference in time zone hours and realized he was probably asleep.) Finally, my ‘brief’ (no less than a page) email was ready after numerous edits and rewrites. I hit the send button with a quick prayer something like, “Here goes Lord. Please do what you want with this,” and away it flew into cyberspace, my whole future clinging to its back, resting within its words and God’s hands.
My real life took precedence over my writing life yesterday even when I considered myself prepared and actually accomplished quite a bit of work. Let me explain my dilemma.
I made plans to spend the day with a friend at the hospital as she had a pretty substantial procedure done. I knew ahead of time that I would probably not be able to post as usual, and even warned myself to write ahead of time (HA! like that happens) or at the very least take my computer and post remotely from location. I’m clearly not techie enough yet because in the early morning hours when the thought buzzed through my mind like a hummingbird off to it’s next flower, I wondered “why in the world would I need my computer?” And I grabbed plenty of paperwork to accompany me, but left my computer closed on my desk. Any normal techie of today’s world would have brought the computer, not necessarily any paperwork (since it would all be ON the computer). Alas, I’m still an old school girl.
Hence, why my regular post has been postponed (pun intended) until today. Sorry my friend who may have looked for me at the three o’clock feeding, I didn’t have it in me at 11:30 last night. Trying to make it up here with two…online dating soon to come…